In 2019 Taiwan became the first country in Asia to legalise same-sex marriage pursuant to the Constitutional Court’s decision two years earlier. This article adds to previous research on same-sex marriage in Taiwan in two respects. Firstly, this study contends that most of the major arguments made in the Court’s decision in 2017 that legalised same-sex marriage were already present in several legislative bills that preceded the Court’s ruling. Secondly, the separate same-sex marriage law that was finally passed in 2019 reflected the government’s endeavour to reach a compromise in meeting some of the demands of both advocates and opponents of marriage equality in Taiwanese society. The story of the marriage equality debate is analysed through textual comparisons of relevant government documents, ngo websites of marriage equality advocates and opponents, newspaper articles, and academic journal articles.
In the twentieth century, Taiwanese feminists have selectively appropriated various strands of Western feminism to improve women’s status and meet women’s needs. In this article, several scholarly works pertaining to the analysis of various strands of Taiwanese feminism, and the historical development of women’s movements published in the 1990s, as well as after, will be reviewed and discussed. The lifting of martial law in 1987 created the political climate that enabled Taiwanese feminists to lift their self-censorship and contribute to the diversification of feminist discourses and ngos in Taiwanese civil society. The mid-1990s was another watershed in the transformation of Taiwanese feminist discourses and women’s movement strategies.